Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ha Noi

Dear friends

Welcome to the final posting dedicated to Vietnam. Hanoi was a real challenge when choosing photos. There are so many I’d like to show you.

We spent hours walking around the Old Quarter It is a maze of little streets teeming with life. There’s the street of the shoe shops, of the tombstone carvers, the tailors, haberdashers, of sweet shops, of art shops, etc. Everyone is busy, street sellers, bikes and cycles are everywhere. Amazing and we loved it…

We also visited Văn Miếu (文廟) the Temple of Literature, the first University in Vietnam. It was founded in 1070 as a Temple to Confucius and in 1076 the National University was established within the temple. When students reached their final examinations they were personally examined by the Emperor himself, just to add to the stress!

We visited Ho Chi Minh, the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, (affectionately called Uncle Ho by many Vietnamese who hold him as their idol) in his mausoleum. He is embalmed and has been lying there since 1975. He died in 1969. The lovely yellow palace was where he used to live although he stopped living there and moved to a small wooden one-roomed hut by the lake in his gardens.

We visited two lakes. One, Hoan Kiem Lake by the old quarter, has a lovely Japanese red bridge (Huc Bridge, meaning ‘morning sunlight bridge’) which takes you to Ngoc Son Buddhist Temple on Turtle Island. The Vietnamese legend of the lake has certain similarities to the English legend of King Arthur and Excalibur.

The other lake, as you can see, has lots of erm…….swans! But also a lovely temple with a pagoda.

I have hundreds of photos of Vietnam and hundreds of lovely memories. It is a fascinating and beautiful country. Go if you can.

Next time I will be showing you photos of Taipei. Very different to Vietnam but also fascinating.

Have a good fortnight!

Love Alan

A colourful Government poster ushers in 2007

The Old Quarter

Mum picking up her daughter from school

Vietnamese florist

Daniela posing as a local!

Great presentation!

Local craftsmen

An oasis of calm away from the chaos

A craftswoman

With this lady we leave the Old Quarter

The Temple of Literature....and a newly wedded couple


Uncle Ho's Palace where he lived

Uncle Ho's Mausoleum where he rests....

Ho Chi Minh Opera House

Caught in the traffic...

Huc Bridge

A Pagoda...and the photographer

Those swans..... and Daniela

Good bye. Thank you Vietnam and your lovely people.....we must go back!

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Didn't get a chance to go as far as Ha Noi. Is it worth it to come back only to see it? Have you visited the Ha Long Bay? Is it true that it is full of garbage left by tourists and very expensive?
I loved Hoi An. It's like a little pearl and definitely worth staying for more than one night to enjoy the atmosphere of the night life. Don't understand me wrong it's nothing like dance clubs it's just so romantic and warm because of all the yellow light coming from the lanterns hung everywhere.